The CSX Santa Train, a beloved Appalachian tradition for 80 years, will be back on the rails this year for the first time since 2019.
After two years of drive-through events necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the train will once again roll through Appalachia, making stops in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee to distribute more than 15 tons of toys and other items to excited children and their parents. The 110-mile route begins at Shelby Yard near Pikeville, Kentucky, and ends at Kingsport, Tennessee.
The decision to run the traditional Santa Train on Saturday, Nov. 19, was made after an outpouring of support from communities along the route, as well as positive developments regarding staffing. Initially, CSX and its sponsorship partners Food City, Appalachian Power and Soles4Souls had planned another year of drive-through distribution events, but momentum for a return to the rails gathered steam quickly and led to the change in plans announced Sept. 27.
“The Santa Train is an important tradition, and running the train on its 80th anniversary and beyond was always our hope,” said Bryan Tucker, vice president of Corporate Communications. “We can’t wait to see everyone along the route this year and for years to come. Our hope is to use the Santa Train tradition as a blueprint for community events and holiday trains in other parts of our network as well.”
Additional details about the 2022 Santa Train will be announced soon.